Antalya, Erciyes kick off new season

Antalya, Erciyes kick off new season

Antalya, Erciyes kick off new season

Antalyaspor has boosted its squad with Czech forward Milan Baros (L). AA photo

Antalyaspor will host debutants Kayseri Erciyesspor tonight to kick off the 56th edition of the Spor Toto Super League.

Kayseri Erciyesspor is among three teams that were promoted to the Turkish top-flight this year, along with Çaykur Rizespor and Torku Konyaspor.

The Central Anatolian team, neighbors with Kayserispor, starts the new season with new coach Fuat Çapa, who parted ways after a modest season with Gençlerbirliği.

Cult following

Çapa had a cult following among Gençlerbirliği fans, who supported his attack-minded play, which was delivered with a soft-spoken attitude and close relations with the team’s fan base. His knowledge of the Belgian football scene also paid off as well, especially when Björn Vleminckx arrived in the winter break to score nine goals in 16 games while on loan from Club Brugge. Çapa brought Vleminckx to Kayseri along with him, and will hope the Belgian continues his scoring spree for Erciyes.

Antalyaspor made changes as well, with former Beşiktaş coach Samet Aybaba arriving at the helm. The team has also signed Czech veteran Milan Baros and English defender Anton Ferdinand, the brother of Manchester United star Rio, Celta Vigo midfielder Natxo Insa and Slovenian goalkeeper Saso Fornezzi to boost their expectations for the season. The Mediterraneans made a strong showing in the first half of last year, placing second, but faded in the “clausura,” finishing seventh – which was still just one spot lower than their best-ever finish of sixth in 1998-99.

The game at the Akdeniz University Stadium starts at 9:45 p.m.